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Lithuanian Bishops Join Caritas Against Prostitution

VILNIUS, Lithuania, DEC. 9, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- Lithuanian bishops are joining Caritas to fight prostitution and sex trafficking in their country.

In a joint press conference, the two organizations announced the bishops’ involvement in “Help for the Victims of Prostitution and Trafficking in Human Beings,” a project begun by Caritas in 2002, and financed in part by the state and foreign charitable foundations.

The bishops stressed the need to educate the faithful on prostitution, and to warn, especially young women, of the danger of being deceived when accepting offers to work abroad.

Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius, president of the Lithuanian episcopal conference, said Wednesday that the project’s activities “will probably reduce the cases of fraud, especially in the smaller cities and villages,” reported the news service of the Italian bishops’ conference.

According to Robert Grigas, director of Caritas-Lithuania, “the initiative is encouraged by British institutions, concerned about the high percentage of Lithuanian women locked in the country’s illegal prostitution houses.”

The project’s coordinator, Kristina Misiniene, said that some 280 women have been able to leave prostitution as a result of the project. “The long-term efficacy of the project,” she said, “is estimated at around 40%.”

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